Category Archives: Fall

In one week, you can…

Things are happening and time is flying. Maybe I am being secretly filmed for a game show on how many things you can do in a week or how many states you can find yourself in within the space of a few days. The past four days especially have been insane. From our home base in Maryland, we have been to Columbus (OH), Philadelphia, and DC within the last four days.

In Columbus for Simon's first football game... with true fan apparel, thanks to my Dad, a loyal Buckeyes fan.

We had planned the trip to Columbus with my parents way earlier this summer, before we had even moved, to go see my grandma. Then she got the chance to move to a nursing home close to my parents in Maryland, so we decided to go to Columbus anyway, revisit my dad’s childhood haunts, and go to an OSU game — Simon’s first football game.

We arrived home around 11 pm Sunday night, and on Monday we were on our way to Philadelphia to celebrate my sister’s birthday with my parents, my grandmother, Simon and me in the car. I brought my computer and my notes to finish up a freelance project on the ride and sent it five minutes after we had parked in the Italian market district. Then it was off to Distrito for a ridiculously good birthday dinner for Emily. (Happy 23rd, Emily!!)

Emily blows out the churro. (A couple of margaritas and a tequila tasting, the photography was a little blurrier than usual.)

We arrived home around 11 again and went straight to bed, where I had a fitful night of not sleeping because I was too worried that we weren’t going to wake up to our alarm the next morning. Why do we do that? I’m not the only one who does that. It’s strange. When the alarm finally started playing the “magical wake up” song or whatever our ridiculous alarm ring tone is called, I did something I have never done at an unholy hour of the morning: I bounced out of bed, turned off the alarm, and said, “Thank God that’s over!” because I was so sick of quietly trying to go back to sleep. Yes, I am a strange gal.

Tuesday was moving day and from my bizarre morning proclamation onward we were packing, lifting, loading, driving, unloading, lifting, dragging, unpacking and finally unwinding after two couches, one bed, one bike, and a Uhaul full of boxes. And a fruitless cross-city rush to a seminar at the Swedish Embassy for me, which was totally victorious for about thirty seconds. Got to the Embassy with five minutes to spare, knocked on the door to be let in, was promptly informed by the security guard that there were only five minutes left in the lecture but I could go down if I wanted. A valiant attempt sabotaged by my own incompetence. Oh man.

Now we’re back in Maryland for two days, returning the Uhaul and my parents’ car before heading back on Friday (and paying a visit to Ikea). Nothing like some good Swedish interior decorating…


Last news for now — the English part of my company website has now launched. I’d love it if you took a look! Stay tuned for the Swedish version if you know any Swedes who might be in need of some Business English consulting/translation services. :)


Fall on the Eastern Shore

After about a week of seeing our friends in Sweden post very sad status updates about the weather, we felt like we should also give everyone a little taste of our weather woes.

Simon was pretty chilly when he got out of the pool. It was horrendous.

A Very Expat Thanksgiving | the Expat Blog

To read the whole post, follow this link to A Very Expat Thanksgiving on the Expat Blog at

In my opinion, it’s all about the stuffing.

Actually, it’s all about the stuffing in most Americans’ opinions and yet, paradoxically, the stuffing is the part that is least appreciated and/or understood by the Swedes I’ve shared Thanksgiving with.

You put it where? Really?! Why?

Yes, we put it there.

To read the whole post, follow this link to A Very Expat Thanksgiving on the Expat Blog at

Thanksgiving Greetings from Japan!

Beth, my youngest sister, is studying abroad in Japan right now, and she sent me a video of appropriate holiday phrases in Japanese. It’s a Thanksgiving Miracle!!!

As she wrote:

happii sankusu gibingu! ima, toukyou de ito izu chauu taimu desu! dakara, motto pai kudasai!
happy thanksgiving! now, toukyou-in ‘it is chow time’ is! so, more pie please!

I got it all except the toukyo-in part. So cool!

I miss you, Beth!!! Stora kramar från Sverige!!! xoxoxoxo

The Thanksgiving Phone Call

My parents called and I got to talk to them, two of my cousins, and my aunt. I would have gotten to talk to my middle sister, but she was sleeping… she’s a Teach for America teacher, so I think that’s what she generally does when she’s home. Although my parents said that she made them some ridic whole wheat pancakes with buttermilk and nutmeg as well as an apple cider hot toddy last night, so it could be the exertion from cooking as well.

I have to give Silvia and Daisy, my two little cousins in the picture below, because they’re totally taking the pressure off me to have kids (not that there was any pressure in the first place, but still…). This still captures the moment at which my mom has just wrapped up a story recounting how the girls said she looks old because she has lines on her face and my dad looks old because he has a bald spot! The girls were giggling madly throughout the whole story. My dad (as you can see) retreated to a happy place. Probably one with sailboats.

All joking aside, my mom said that the girls have been totally helpful in the kitchen, so let that stand on record. And my parents seemed pretty amused by their straight talking.

Happy Thanksgiving to my wonderful family!! I wish I could be there, but having seen my parents so recently really takes the sting out of what would otherwise be a pretty sad day without my family. LOVE YOU GUYS!!!

Boat lovers, beware! Historical boats at Skeppsholmen in Stockholm

We (Simon, my parents, and me) were in Stockholm last week for three days and stayed on Skeppsholm, one of the centrally located islands. I was totally shocked when I learned that Stockholm is actually made up of 14 islands, and now I love being able to navigate between them with bridges and water ferries.

The central location and the excitement of staying in a historical hotel (Hotel Skeppsholmen—more on that later) were both draws to the island, but I had another reason for telling my parents that I strongly preferred staying on that island… a sneaky, underhanded plan designed to manipulate my father into convincing my mother that the two of them need to come back to Sweden again.

The boats.

Last summer, when Elaine and I visited Stockholm, we took a slow, meandering walk around Skeppsholmen and stumbled on a long stretch of beautiful old boats along the quay, each one labeled with a placard detailing the ship’s history. It was really, really cool, and I’m not even that knowledgeable about boats. I knew that if my dad were able to see even just a few of these boats, he would be sold on Stockholm within his first 30 minutes of being there.

Bingo.  The boats were still out in the chilly but not freezing weather, and several of them looked like they had been in use recently. My dad was reading all the placards and checking out the boats, and by the time we were leaving the island, he was talking with greater conviction than ever before about coming back sometime in the future to do an archipelago sailing trip.

My mom is game, and me? Well, the two of them will probably need a translator. Fresh caught fish tastes even better when you use Swedish to buy it from the fishermen, or at least that’s what they tell me.

View The Mini-moon in a larger map

The boats are on the Northeast corner of the island, and it probably takes about half an hour to take an easy stroll around the island and enjoying your surroundings (less than 15 minutes if you’re booking it). They’re in full glory during the summer, but if Stockholm is having a mild fall/winter, you might be lucky like we were and get to see them in mid-November.

The Lazy Song

Really, this is my theme song/personal anthem on the weekends, but it applies now, too. Way too much work to do!! GAH!

This video cracks me up, so I hope you get a kick out of it, too. Enjoy! :)

Plus, for those of you who watched this, did it make you wonder how gorillas whistle??

An American Bachelorette in Sweden | The Expat Blog

I’m not one to talk about my life as though it’s the most exciting thing around but I’M GETTING MARRIED IN TWO WEEKS so, you know, it is. At least for the moment. (At least for me.)

From what I’ve seen so far, one of the biggest differences between a Swedish wedding and an American wedding has nothing to do with the wedding itself—it’s the way Swedes take on the all-important bachelor and bachelorette party.



Here’s a little sneak peek, but there are a lot more photos in the full version.

One of my favorite parts of the day.

rain and cold
are not conducive to fun.